Can I use a cone of thread on a regular sewing machine?

As sewing enthusiasts, we often experiment with different types of threads to achieve the desired results in our projects.

One common question that arises is whether it’s possible to use a cone of thread on a regular sewing machine. I’ll delve into this topic, exploring the feasibility, benefits, and considerations of using cone thread on your sewing machine.

Cone Thread

Thread cones offer a larger quantity of thread at a lower cost, making them attractive for sewers who tackle big projects. But the question arises:

can you use these cones on a regular sewing machine designed for spools?

The answer is yes, with a caveat.  Regular sewing machines typically have too small spool pins to accommodate a cone’s wider base.

 There are solutions to get around this:

  • Thread Stand: Invest in a thread stand. This freestanding holder keeps the cone elevated and feeds the thread smoothly to your machine.
  • DIY Methods: If you don’t want to buy a stand, get creative! Place the cone in a cup or mug behind your machine, or use a clothespin to secure the thread and guide it to the spool pin.

Important Considerations

  • Thread Weight: Make sure the thread weight (thickness) is compatible with your machine. Most home machines handle thread up to a Tex 70 weight, which is commonly found on spools. Cones often contain heavier threads. Check your machine’s manual for weight limitations.
  • Test Sewing: Before diving into your project, do a test sew-on scrap fabric. This ensures the thread feeds correctly and your machine handles the weight without issues.

What is Cone Thread?

Cone thread is a type of sewing thread wound onto a large cone-shaped spool. It’s commonly used in industrial sewing settings due to its large quantity and cost-effectiveness. However, cone thread can also be utilized in home sewing projects with the appropriate setup.

Types of Cone Thread

Cone thread comes in various materials, weights, and colors, similar to standard sewing threads. Common materials include polyester, cotton, and silk, each offering distinct characteristics suited to different types of projects.

Can You Use Cone Thread on a Regular Sewing Machine?


Yes, you can use cone thread on a regular sewing machine with some modifications and considerations. While most home sewing machines are designed to accommodate smaller spools of thread, there are ways to adapt them for use with cone thread.


  • Cost-Effective: Cone thread is typically more cost-effective than standard spools, especially when buying in bulk.
  • Continuous Supply: The large quantity of thread on a cone means fewer interruptions during long sewing sessions, making it ideal for large projects.
  • Variety: Cone thread comes in a wide range of colors and materials, allowing for versatility in your sewing projects.

Considerations for Using Cone Thread

Thread Stand

To use cone thread on a regular sewing machine, you’ll need a thread stand or holder to support the cone vertically above the machine. This prevents the thread from tangling or creating excessive tension as it feeds into the machine.

Tension Adjustment

Cone thread may require adjustments to the tension settings on your sewing machine. Experiment with the tension dial to achieve optimal stitch quality and prevent thread breakage or looping.

Thread Path

Ensure that the thread feeds smoothly from the cone to the machine’s tension discs and threading path. Avoid sharp angles or obstructions that could impede the thread flow.


Can I use cone thread for quilting projects?

Yes, cone thread is suitable for quilting projects, especially when working on large quilts that require continuous stitching.

Do I need a special needle for cone thread?

While a standard needle may suffice, some sewers prefer to use a larger needle size to accommodate the thicker thread.

Can I use cone thread for embroidery?

Cone thread can be used for machine embroidery, but it’s essential to ensure proper tension and thread path to prevent issues like thread breakage.


In conclusion, using cone thread on a regular sewing machine is not only possible but also offers several advantages for sewers. With the right setup, adjustments, and considerations, you can harness the benefits of cone thread in your sewing projects, from quilting to garment construction and beyond. Experiment with different thread materials and colors to unleash your creativity and achieve professional-quality results.


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